The New Zealand Fertiliser Association, representing the controversial importing companies in New Zealand is quoted by national TV that they are "aware of what's happening in Western Sahara but that's no reason not to use phosphate rock from the area".
The two fertiliser companies Ballance Agri-Nutrients Ltd and Ravensdown supply all fertiliser on the New Zealand market. Almost all these fertilisers are based on phosphate from a Moroccan state owned company operating in occupied Western Sahara. The issue was covered on the New Zealand government broadcaster One News 29 March 2015.
The Western Sahara Resource Watch report P for Plunder - 2014, launched in New Zealand 16 March 2015, documents that the Pacific nation is the third biggest importer of the controversial rock from the occupied territory. The New Zealand Primary Industries Minister stated to One News he was not fully aware of the origins of the fertilisers.
The Fertiliser Association of New Zealand issued on 23 March 2015 a media statement underlining that its member companies will continue the imports of phosphates from Western Sahara. The association has two member companies - Ballance and Ravensdown.
The association stated to One News that "the Fertiliser Association is aware of what's happening in Western Sahara but that's no reason not to use phosphate rock from the area".
The territory of Western Sahara is treated by the United Nations as an unresolved colonial issue, and is partially under occupation of neighbouring Morocco. The exports of phosphates constitutes the main Moroccan income from the territory.
Morocco occupies the major part of its neighbouring country, Western Sahara. Entering into business deals with Moroccan companies or authorities in the occupied territories gives an impression of political legitimacy to the occupation. It also gives job opportunities to Moroccan settlers and income to the Moroccan government. Western Sahara Resource Watch demands foreign companies leave Western Sahara until a solution to the conflict is found.
It's not easy keeping up with all the different legal proceedings relating to Western Sahara. For the sake of clarity, here's an overview of the three different cases at the Court of Justice of the European Union.
Leading activists from Western Sahara are condemned to sentences ranging from 20 years to life imprisonment in connection to a mass protest in 2010 denouncing the Saharawi people’s social and economic marginalization in their occupied land; the Gdeim Izik protest camp.
At COP22, beware of what you read about Morocco’s renewable energy efforts. An increasing part of the projects take place in the occupied territory of Western Sahara and is used for mineral plunder, new WSRW report documents.